The Lee Spirits Co. out of Colorado make several flavored gins that are easy to sip on their and pair well with mixers. So it should come as no surprise that the next logical step might be to port some of their gins into a line of canned cocktails. Launched in 2020, Lee Spirits Strawberry Lemonade was the first non-carbonated canned cocktail to be launched (and available) in the United States.
Lee Spirits Strawberry Lemonade is a combination of their Strawberry Ginger Gin and lemonade. It’s canned in 12 oz. cans and comes in at an impressive 9% ABV.
The nose is largely about the strawberry. If you didn’t know that this cocktail was made with their Strawberry Ginger Gin, I’m not sure you would guess it at first nose.
Sipped, it’s pleasantly balanced. The biggest worry I had going into this was that they might be too sweet. And while there is a nice sweetness here, it’s far from cloying. Similarly, the lemon is present as a flavor but the Lee Spirits Strawberry Lemonade doesn’t have that intense citric acid tang that other canned lemonades have. I often prefer to talk about what a drink/spirit is rather than what it is not— but in this case, I think that two expectations were so clearly defied that it’s worth pointing out.
Early and throughout the palate, strawberry is the dominant note. A hint of ginger-like warmth comes on early and on the late finish. The lemon is subtle and present throughout. Towards the finish, a hint of juniper and gin comes through.
While the gin is present here, it’s the gin’s flavoring ingredients that are the star. Considering you have to look really hard to even find the word gin… (it’s on the lower right hand, right under the % ABV where it says Gin with Natural Flavors), it’s quite clear that although a gin based cocktail, Lee Spirits Co. is not leading with the gin as part of its branding. In short, it’s best described as a boozy strawberry lemonade. In the marketplace, I can see this being a particularly savvy move. Especially as I could easily see a gin fanatic picking this up and wondering where the juniper is.
Overall, Lee Spirits Strawberry Lemonade
Lee Spirits Co. have created an accessible, sippable, and nicely balanced strawberry lemonade.
If you want to taste more gin in here, you should get a bottle of their strawberry gin and mix it yourself.
But if you want an easy to pick up, non carbonated cocktail with a good flavor— this is a winner. There’s nothing else quite like it on the market. I enjoy it poured over ice, but its just as good right from the can.